Dominion Day in the 1930s

dominion-day-poster2Happy Canada Day to one and all (or as Portia and her fellow-Canadians would have called it back in the 1930s, Dominion Day!).

Canada officially became a country in the British Empire in 1867 with the enactment of the British North America Act.

Prior to that the land we now call Canada was just a bunch of European and American settlements.

The Canadian Red Ensign was Canada’s flag at the time (it would not be replaced by the modern version of the red and white flag until 1965).

Dominion Day celebrations were not as popular as Canada Day celebrations are because back then Canadians still thought of themselves as pretty British. There was a big Dominion Day celebration in 1917 marking the golden anniversary of the Confederation and then again in 1927 – called the diamond jubilee.

By 1932, Portia is back in Toronto, pursuing a case on behalf of her best friend, Annie Coleson, so I am sure she partook in the local celebrations of her native country’s birthday!


Toronto Newspapers of the 1930s

The Daily Star on sale.
The Daily Star on sale (from the BlogTO article – 2011, originally from the Toronto Archives)

I’m researching Toronto newspapers today and thought I would share some of my findings with you interested folks!

BlogTO has done a lot of my work for me in this piece from 2011.

It looks like The Globe and Mail was still called The Globe as of the early 1930s (this is prior to their merger with Mail and Empire in 1936). It would have been a viable source of news for Portia and Annie as they navigate the streets of Montreal and Toronto. Here is the wikipedia article for The Globe and Mail.

The Toronto Evening Telegram was a local Toronto paper which would have been hard to get one’s hands on outside of the city and folded in 1971. It was in direct competition with the Toronto Star, which back in the 30s was called The Toronto Daily Star, and was supposed to better represent the ‘common man’s interests. You can read more about the history of the Toronto Star on their website here.

The Montreal Gazette (just called Gazette in the 30s) it turns out has been around forever – founded in 1778 if you can imagine – and was in a dual French-English format. The competing Quebec Gazette is an English-language weekly these days but back in the 30s was a dual French-English weekly.

So there you have it. All the news our girls could want in print form!